Nearly two years after being placed on the market, the Weyerhaeuser campus in Federal Way has found a buyer – the Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group (IRG), which on Tuesday announced its purchase of the complex, the company’s first major acquisition in the Seattle area. The property includes a 343,535 square foot office complex, a 461,673 square foot tech center, and 425 acres of land. The sales price was reported to be $70.5 million.
The buyer, IRG, is a national real estate development and investment firm that has experience repositioning large suburban office campuses, a corporate headquarters format that was popular in the 1970s through the 1990s that has in some cases fallen out of favor as companies increasingly look to locate their offices in urban centers. The company operates a portfolio of over 150 properties in 29 different states, according to John Mase, CEO.
This will be one of the most beautiful buildings we have in our portfolio
“This is our first major acquisition in Seattle, but what we do nationwide, our specialty, is buying corporate complexes,” said Mase. “With a lot of these properties we plan on redeveloping them and converting the buildings for different usage for different tenants. We’re not really planning on making many major changes to the office building or the technology center. The only changes we’ll do is building up some of the developable land.”
In an interview after the sale was announced, Mase discussed IRG’s plans for the three components to the property. “The first component is the Weyerhaeuser office complex,” said Mase. “It’s a beautiful building, a real gem, with wonderful views. We are not going to do much to change that building.” That portion of the property was leased back by Weyerhaeuser for a short period of time, however when the company moved to Seattle it vacated the complex, said Mase. “We’re going to be hopefully earning them one or more tenants for the building. So, on that particular site we’re just going to plan on fixing up the inside to the extent that we need to for new tenants, but hopefully keep the building exactly the way it is. There’s a lot of beautiful land right around it that will all stay intact.”
The property features a number of additional uses, including data warehousing and vacant land. IRG does not have plans to disrupt the data center portion, but the land may find alternative uses. “There’s also a technology center,” he continued, “which is a large building on site that Weyerhaeuser is going to lease back for a long term period. We’re not planning on doing anything different with that site either. The third part is that there’s a lot of excess land, some of which we’ll be selling as parcels for development. A lot of the land we’ll keep in place.”
The amount of land to be sold is yet to be determined. IRG is known for aggressive leasing efforts. The company plans to accommodate tenants who would be a positive mix for the region, understanding the value the property has as a fixture in the local community.
With ivy-covered rooftop terraces, the office building was one of the first green roof applications in the Pacific Northwest and one of the first open landscape office designs in the United States. Designed by Skidmore, Owens and Merrill, it features large rectangular floor plates, 14-foot floor-to-floor heights with 10-foot ceilings, continuous non-sash window-wall systems and a diagonal column placement designed to promote natural lighting and maximize internal visibility.
The amenities include a large cafeteria, an assembly space that accommodates 600 people, executive space, gardens and water features. “This will be one of the most beautiful buildings we have in our portfolio,” said Mase.
“The sale, redevelopment and reuse of this iconic property by IRG is important for the future of Federal Way,” said Jim Ferrell the mayor of Federal Way. “We look forward to working with IRG to bring additional jobs, businesses and sustainable development to Federal Way. Our strategic location, support for business, and quality of life available to our citizens enables us to be well-positioned for the future.”